The road between Longmire and Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park will be open overnight starting Thursday, the park announced Tuesday.
The road is typically closed at night during the winter, Some overnight closures could still occur due to poor weather. Vehicles are required to carry tire chains through May 1.
Road work continues below Longmire and visitors could face delays up to 30 minutes.
Sunday will be the last day of the sledding season at Mount Rainier National Park, the park announced Wednesday.
The groomed sledding area at Paradise is the only place where sledding is permitted in the park.
While there is still plenty of snow at Paradise (165 inches at 1 p.m. Wednesday) the snow play grooming equipment is needed to begin snow removal operations in other parts of the park.
The park remains open for other winter activities but park officials recommend visitors check weather, avalanche and road conditions and then plan accordingly before heading to the park.
Ranger-led snowshoe walks continue through March 30. The walks leave from the Jackson Visitor Center at 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and are first-come, first-served with a room for 25 people 8 and older. A $5 donation is recommended to use the park’s snowshoe rentals.
The National Park Service has released the final report from its board of reviews investigation into the 2012 shooting death of Mount Rainier National Park law enforcement ranger Margaret Anderson.
Recommendations for improvements at national parks include:
- Providing formal tactical training and practical training exercises involving high risk encounters.
- Evaluating personal protective equipment.
- Improving park-level mutual aid agreements.
- Improving standard operating procedures.
Anderson was fatally shot Jan. 1, 2012, on the road to Paradise as she and another ranger stopped a vehicle that skipped a mandatory chain-up checkpoint. Stopped by Anderson just below Paradise, driver Benjamin Barnes opened fire on both rangers, killing Anderson.
Barnes then escaped on foot into the woods. After an extensive manhunt, Barnes' body was found the next day in Paradise River. He drowned while suffering from hypothermia.
The board of review concluded its investigation in 2012 and issued a statement in September of that year saying the incident was unpreventable, praising Anderson for taking action that likely saved lives and recommend changes for national parks.
The final report:
Mount Rainier’s road to Paradise will not be open Tuesday because of “high avalanche danger and adverse weather,” the park announced via Twitter.
The first of two 2-year construction projects was due to begin on the road on Monday. The road was also closed Monday. There was 172 inches of snow at Paradise on Tuesday morning at 8.
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